Village of Vicksburg, Mich., issues boil water advisory

Boil water advisory issued in Vicksburg, Mich.  (FILE: MGN)

Village officials issued a boil water advisory Friday, and began chlorination of the system, after tests detected the presence of coliform bacteria in the water supply.

Police Chief Jim Mallery said the advisory was issued in the interest of public safety, and the village is collecting additional samples for further testing.

Coliform bacteria, naturally present in the environment, generally are not harmful to humans. However they are a strong indicator of the presence of other potentially harmful bacteria. And they could indicate problems with the treatment or distribution systems.

The advisory means residents must not drink the village water without boiling it first. Additionally any water used for making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food also should be boiled first.

To prepare the water for consumption, it must be boiled for at least one minute after it reaches a full boil. Boiling will kill bacteria and other organisms.

As an alternative, bottled water could be use. All residents should use boiled or bottled water until further notice from the village.

The city said tests of the water system detected coliform bacteria in one sample Wednesday, out of the five routine samples taken throughout the village each month. The village immediately notified the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, village officials said in a written announcement of the advisory, and ordered emergency chlorination equipment, which was installed Friday morning. Since the initial positive for coliform, the village also has been testing for other more harmful bacteria, but has found none.

Follow up tests taken Thursday also showed positive for coliform bacteria when they were returned Friday, and the village then began chlorination efforts.

Chlorination of the system will continue until the village is advised to stop by the state environmental department.

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